Woodpeckers



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Woodpecker Identification

There are over 2000 species of woodpeckers, ranging from 7 to 15 inches in length, and usually with brightly contrasting coloration. Most males have some red on the head and many species have black and white marks. Woodpeckers have short legs with two sharp-clawed, backward-pointed toes and stiff tail feathers, which serve as a supportive prop. They primarily feed on tree-living or wood-boring insects using their strong beak and long tongue to dislodge food. Some members of the Woodpecker family (Flickers) feed on insects off the ground, while others prefer native berries, fruit and nuts.

Damage Caused by Woodpecker Problems

Pecking or “drumming” against trees or buildings is the characteristic most associated with Woodpeckers. They do this to establish territories and to attract or signal mates. This can be quite annoying for humans, especially in the early morning when trying to sleep. Woodpeckers can also cause significant damage to the sides of buildings, telephone poles, eaves, fences, etc., by pecking holes into the surface. The holes are usually caused by 1 or 2 birds during the spring time mating season.


Woodpecker Control

All Woodpeckers are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and control methods must not harm the birds.

The most effective control method is 3/4” StealthNet bird netting. Bird net is extremely durable and can be installed in a semi-permanent configuration until woodpecker nesting behavior has been permanently modified.

Above are a few woodpecker control products that if used when the woodpecker problem first arises, can be effective forms of woodpecker control to get rid of woodpeckers.

Audio/visual scare woodpecker deterrents such as Firefly Bird Diverters, Bird-Gard distress call units, Scare Eye Balloons, Scare Octopus, and Bird Repellent Flash Tape have been effective at getting rid of woodpeckers, especially if used when the woodpecker problem first arises.

Nesting

They select their homes near wooded regions because of their dependence on trees for food and shelter. Woodpeckers use their strong beak to bore holes into tree limbs or trunks when carving out a place to live. They prefer to live in dead trees and show a tendency to build on the side of the structure that receives the early morning light and warmth from the rising sun. They can also be found living in man made structures, such as wooden fence posts, utility poles, and buildings. The loss of old growth trees has accelerated their use of man made structures for homes.

Breeding

Woodpeckers breed in the spring, commonly laying 2 to 8 dull white or glossy eggs. The incubation period lasts from 11 to 14 days and maybe longer for larger Woodpeckers. They typically have 2 broods per year with some species bearing eggs 3 times per year. Eggs are watched over by both parents during incubation.

Cycles

Very few species of Woodpeckers are migratory, although some species show movement southward in winter or from higher mountains to warmer lower valleys. In general, cold weather is not a problem because of the availability of their food supply under bark or in dead or rotted wood where it is out of reach of most birds.




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